Radiant as the End of the World

December 17th 2022 – February 26th 2023

Clément Bedel

Clément Bedel through his art reminds us that we live in an impossible present – a time of rupture, a world haunted with the threat of extinction. His paintings offer vibrant scenes of more-than-human attempts to stay alive. Motions that he is depicting are whispers of the many pasts and yet-to-comes that surround us. Considered through his canvases – the world has ended many times before. Bedel’s paintings approach this problem by offering visual attention to overlaid arrangements of nature’s resilience. His practice stands up to the constant barrage of messages asking us to forget – that is, to allow a few private owners and public officials with their eyes focused on short term gains to pretend that environmental devastation does not exist. These canvases are also preyed upon by radiant, striking, sharp strokes of oil paint that travel in depicted water and soil; polluting the air; getting inside the plants and trees with dazzling, intense colors and mutation of contort formations. We cannot see it but we learn to find its traces. It disturbs us in its indeterminacy; this is a quality of ghosts. Many species stronger than time – potentially immortal filamentous fungi, photosynthetic algae or cyanobacteria – spread and meet on the gravestones of brutalistic man made cement vestiges.

excerpt from the catalogue text by Anja Tončić.